The big day has finally arrived and all your concerns about getting through labor and birth are now behind you. Your precious new baby is here and you are ready to go home and start your lives together as a family. As helpful as the hospital staff can be, all of the interruptions, the procedures, the strangers, the bright lights, can all leave new parents overwhelmed. There is great excitement about coming home to the peace and privacy of your own home, and the comfort of your own bed. They will also be leaving the assistance and care of the hospital staff, who have been right there to answer questions and offer suggestions. You will now be on your own. Good preparation ahead of time will make the transition from hospital to home smoother and less stressful. A well thought out plan will contribute greatly in setting a loving and rewarding foundation for the new baby and the new family.
Many couples have a lot of fun gathering the things they will need to welcome their baby home. You will choose the things you need to provide a place for the baby to sleep, diaper changing tables, diapers, baby’s bath, baby clothes, receiving blankets and all other equipment to help feed and care for your new child. Getting everything gathered and set up and ready while you are waiting for your baby’s arrival will help things go smoothly when your baby is here. Washing all of baby’s clothes, sorting by sizes, and having the changing table well stocked can all be done ahead of time. Setting up multiple stations to change baby’s diapers conveniently can be done to help simplify life the first few weeks as the Mom will also be recovering from birth and will need rest and care herself. Stocking the pantry with staples and preparing meals ahead of time that can be frozen and quickly reheated will be enormously helpful. Catching up with paperwork and other obligations before the baby’s arrival will give you a lot of ease and free you up to just enjoy learning to care for your new baby. You can arrange for any help you might need beforehand. Some families set up a meal train with their friends to help out. Some arrange to hire a postpartum doula, which can be one of the very best ways to ensure a smooth transition and get your family off to a good start.
Finally, the day will arrive when you are discharged from the hospital and you bring your baby to his or her new home. Some families hang a Welcome Home banner, or have colorful balloons around to create a celebratory atmosphere. It can be fun to have photos and video of the baby coming home for the first time. Have the house warm and softly lit for your arrival. Have your first meals at home planned out and a place set up for baby to enjoy his or her first meal at home too. Have everything ready for mom’s comfort as well, as she is still recovering from the birth, and will perhaps be spending a lot of time learning to breastfeed and learning how to read and interpret her baby’s cries. Having a professional postpartum doula to assist you during this period can empower new parents so much and give them the confidence and skills to embark on their new role as parents. Let your baby be comforted as you speak softly and show your baby around its new home. Let yourselves relax in the comfort and privacy of your own home and have the chance to revel in this wonderful event and marvel at this precious new being, who will be yours to cherish and care for. Have a toast and celebrate your new life as a family together!